Sinclair agrees to buy 7 TV stations for $200 million

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. has agreed to buy the television station assets of Four Points Media for $200 million, the Hunt Valley-based broadcaster said Thursday.

Sinclair will buy the seven stations — which television holding company Four Points owns and operates in four markets — from affiliates of Cerberus Capital Management LP. The sale, expected to close in the first quarter of 2012, is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission and must have anti-trust clearance.

Four Points stations, affiliated with CBS, MNT, CW and Azteca, are located in Salt Lake City; Austin, Texas; West Palm Beach, Fla.; and Providence, R.I.

"The stations, which are in prime middle-markets, are a perfect complement to our portfolio of assets and TV footprint," David Smith, Sinclair's president and chief executive, said in a statement.

Smith said the acquisition would allow the company to capitalize on "operating synergies" and should result in additional earnings.

Sinclair, which owns, operates and programs 58 television stations in 35 markets, said it would finance the sale with a new term loan, a draw on its revolving line of credit, and cash on hand.

"This is a great time to buy assets, and SBGI is in the fortunate position to do so," Marci Rycvicker, a senior analyst with Wells Fargo Securities LLC, said in a report issued Thursday. "We see a lot of positives from this transaction."

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